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UK boosts Ukraine’s air defence with additional ASRAAM missiles

By Defence Industry Europe

The United Kingdom has announced the delivery of approximately 200 air defence missiles to Ukraine, intensifying its support against Russian aerial attacks. The British Ministry of Defence confirmed this significant aid on Friday amidst one of Russia's largest missile assaults on Ukraine, leading to civilian casualties and extensive damage.

 

British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps emphasized the importance of this move, stating, “Putin is testing Ukraine’s defences and the West’s resolve, hoping that he can clutch victory from the jaws of defeat. But he is wrong. Now is the time for the free world to come together and redouble our efforts to get Ukraine what they need to win.”

 

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These Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ASRAAM) are UK-manufactured by defence contractor MBDA. Originally designed for aircraft launch, including the UK’s Typhoon and F-35 fighter jets, a groundbreaking adaptation has enabled their ground-based deployment.

 

 

In a swift and innovative response to the conflict in Ukraine, a joint MoD-MBDA team adapted these missiles for surface launching, a project that saw conception to completion in just four months. This adaptation included development, manufacturing, trials, and training of Ukrainian crews on UK soil.

 

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This initiative showcases British engineering excellence and the capability of the MOD and British industry to rapidly provide cost-effective, yet highly efficient solutions. The surface-launched ASRAAM systems have demonstrated remarkable effectiveness, boasting a success rate of up to 90% against Russian air targets. Ukrainian forces, adept in operating these systems, have requested additional missiles to fortify their air defences further.

With a commitment of GBP 4.6 billion (USD 5.9 billion) in military support over two years, the UK continues to play a pivotal role in supporting Ukraine’s resilience against Russian aggression.

 

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